With its location on three bodies of water, Kingsborough Community College, hit hard by the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, has been able to bounce back as it continues to assist students and faculty who were immediately affected by the storm. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Kingsborough Community College's Maritime Technology area on Sheepshead Bay last December was wrecked by Sandy. It looks a lot better now, but Merchant Marine Captain and Program Director Anthony DiLernia says it's still a work in progress.
"We learned from the storm how to reconfigure our marina. Half the marina was destroyed by the storm," DiLernia said.
The college is located on Sheepshead and Jamaica bays and the Atlantic Ocean. The storm surge inundated the campus with water, causing major damage to buildings and infrastructure. Amazingly, the school was able to clean up enough to get students and faculty back one week later. Since then, work has been ongoing to renovate and shore up the campus.
"Things continue to go on and there are residual problems that come up as a result of the storm but I think when you come to campus you'll see that a lot of precautions have been taken to make sure that it doesn't happen again and we're prepared in the future," said Elizabeth Basile, Assistant Vice President for College Advancement at Kingsborough Community College.
The school also went to bat for 2,500 students and faculty members impacted by the storm. Many lost their homes and belongings, including books and computers. The college set up an emergency food and clothing distribution center and started a fundraising campaign to further assist them.
"We were able to raise over $200,000 to provide financial support to these people who were in need," Basile said. "Students can still come and request additional financial support and if it's needed and we can provide that kind of support we will."
While the past year has been a challenging one for students and faculty, there have also been some bright spots, including a major honor for the college.
"We were honored by the Aspen Institute and we were named one of the top four community colleges in the country," Basile said.
The school is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, one that everyone in the college family hopes will be less eventful than the past one.